Banter, a few digs and feeling surprisingly good as Turner returns
For the first time in 251 days, racegoers were treated to the sight of Hayley Turner skipping into the parade ring as her mini comeback began at Newmarket last night.
Having retired at Doncaster on November 7 last year, Turner has been tempted back into action for the Shergar Cup, deputising for the injured Michelle Payne.
She may have been well beaten on her rides in the opening two races at the July course but Turner was clearly thrilled to be back among her colleagues.
"It felt really good," she said. "I've been quite complacent about it all today but I think when I was walking out for my first ride, I was a little bit nervous. I'm really enjoying it now though.
"Everyone's treated me just the same. I've had a bit of banter and a few digs off them as normal, which is how it should be."
"It doesn't feel like I've been away, nothing's changed. It just seems normal. I've ridden here so often, I knew where I was going so I haven't been surprised by anything."
There was, however, one pleasant surprise.
"I suppose I was expecting to be blowing a bit harder," she said. "The first ride I was a bit stuffy but after the second one I felt good."
Turner has one more ride at Newmarket on Saturday and says she will explore further options throughout the week.
Where next? Not only the name of her Saturday mount but the question Turner will doubtless be asked many more times between now an Ascot.